SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the most talked about form of organic online marketing these days. And its popularity stems from the fact that it is effective. In making brand websites visible to the public. Businesses exist to make a profit. But they can only do this when their customers actually show up at their doorsteps. ‘No promotions’ means ‘no awareness’, and hence no revenue. From my first engagement with the HughesNet Plans service, I’ve seen the power of SEO upfront. And there can be no marketing expert today, worth his (or her) salt, who can afford to ignore it.
But before I go on to list the 5 factors that can have a bearing on your SEO strategy, you should understand the basics. SEO can get a bit technical, so it is helpful to break it down. And true to my usual blogging fashion, I’ve done exactly this down below.
What is SEO?
SEO features a set of tactics that attempt to tweak website content in a number of ways. These changes are carried out on both the front & back ends.
Front-end changes involve tinkering with a site’s written content. This mainly includes adding particular keyword phrases in key text positions. Such as the H1 – H6 headings, as well the opening lines of paragraphs. The reason behind why this is necessary is easy to understand.
Search engine bots index web pages within their databases. For this, they need to thematically categorize the content they come across. They can only do this by making sense of the words that occur frequently within the copy. Keywords facilitate this process.
A second way in which they prove helpful is in the form of being the vehicles for anchor links. These URLs are coded into the words by hyperlinks. And they direct both readers and search engine bots to the desired target pages.
What’s the Deal with ‘Ranking Factors’?
Another big SEO ranking factor concerns a webpage’s character count. As per a usual recommendation, at least 1000 words are the way to go. Because a large text body gives authenticity signals to the search engine. Inbound links from reputed web sources, of course, are another. And it is for this reason that many SEO techs spend a lot of time getting them.
Based on the inclusion of these issues, the search engine allots a good SERP (search engine results page) placement. SEO techs aim to win the first three URL listing positions for their websites. These placements attract the larger bulk of visitor traffic. And more visitors obviously mean more revenue – and hence more profit.
The same is not true for the websites that rank lower (on the 2nd or 3rd pages, and so on). Because most people hardly ever go beyond the first page.
Five Factors that You Should Focus On
The five ranking factors that you should focus on include:
- Good Keyword Research
- Providing Valuable Content
- Linking with High Domain Authority Sites
- Increasing Content Readability
- Updating Content Regularly
I’ve elaborated on each of these points briefly down below.
Good Keyword Research
If you’re a business, you should aim to rank for those keywords that relate to your products & services. Particularly long-tail keywords that clearly represent search users’ actual purchasing (‘bottom of the funnel’) intent.
At the same time, you need to make sure that you’re not ranking for any misleading keywords. The ones that put search engine bots off the scent that you intend to leave. Or the ones that direct both searchers and bots to a totally unrelated service niche. Because if this happens, you may not get to convert your leads effectively.
Once you have a good set of keywords, try to center your content on them. This sets up word associations (discussed in Latent Semantic Indexing – LSI). So that whenever a search user Googles something that is even indirectly related to your brand, he (or she) ends up at your web location.
Which is the entire aim of SEO, as I’ve already mentioned above.
Valuable, Readable & Regularly Updated Content
For website content to be effective (in terms of increasing sales), it has to be:
Valuable content is the type that is informative. And not only with regard to your offered product or service.
Readable content, on the other hand, is the kind that is easy to understand. In the digital marketing field, website content optimized at the U.S Grade Level 7 is great. This means that the text of your web pages is easy for an American 7th-grade student to read.
Lastly, your website content needs to be regularly updated. This signals the search engine bots to keep coming back to your site on a daily basis. The more you post, the more likely it is that your site will rank high.
High D.A Inbound Site Links
Links from high D.A sites are like ‘votes of credibility’. They tell the search engine that your content is quality-controlled. And that it contains useful, actionable information. Google’s algorithm, in fact, has always put a lot of emphasis on the issue of credibility. Once, when I was searching for a number of high speed internet providers in my area, I experienced this power of inbound links up front. The website that piqued my curiosity had a number of them. From a number of reputed online platforms. And even though the content wasn’t of a particularly high quality, the site was still ranking!